Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 203. Thursday, 29 Aug 1991.
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1991 20:51:28 -0400
Organization: University of Louisville
Subject: 2.0202 Shakespeare in San Diego
Comment: [Re:] SHK 2.0202 Shakespeare in San Diego
Having read the reviews of the plays in San Diego, I am at last brave enough
to dare a posting of my own to this list.
Actor's Theatre of Louisville is a nationally recognized theater company.
For some reason, however, they can't seem to get the Shakespeare right.
This was borne out earlier this summer with a ludicrous production of
It was, for some reason, set in pre-20th-century Arabia. (Surely Desert
Storm had nothing to do with this whatsoever!) I am not one to play the
immutable purist when it comes to re-setting Shakespeare. (Shakespeare
himself could hardly cry foul with Geoffrey and Saxo looking over his
shoulder.) However, the company did nothing-- other than costume and a
bit of music-- to "localize" the performance.
Given the feudal nature of Bedouin society, this would have been quite
exciting had the play been revised along the lines of Kurisawa's *Ran.*
To have a group of actors trouping about in abbayas spouting "What Ho, Kent"
and "How now, Gloucester" was a bit much. (France and Burgundy, in their
little foreign-legion outfits, drew a few chuckles.) How, in the nineteenth
century, we are supposed to believe that these personages went in search
of "sauvage brides" is a bit beyond me.